Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The piece of bread that fell wrong side up

Author: Paulo Coelho

By Paulo Coelho

We all have a tendency to believe that everything we do will turn out wrong, because we think we do not deserve to be blessed. Here is an interesting story about precisely that feeling.

A man was quietly eating his breakfast. Suddenly, the piece of bread which he had just spread with butter fell to the ground.

Imagine his surprise when he looked down and saw that it had landed buttered side up! The man thought he had witnessed a miracle. Excited, he went to tell his friends what had happened, and they were all amazed because when a piece of bread falls on the floor, it always lands buttered side down, making a mess of everything.

‘Perhaps you’re a saint,’ one friend said. ‘And this is a sign from God.’

Soon the whole village knew, and they all started animatedly discussing the incident: how was it that, against all expectations, that man’s slice of bread had fallen on the floor buttered side up? Since no one could come up with a credible answer, they went to see a Teacher who lived nearby and told him the story.

The Teacher demanded one night to pray, reflect and ask for Divine inspiration. The following day, they all returned, eager for an answer.

‘It’s quite simple really,’ said the Teacher. ‘The fact is that the piece of bread fell exactly as it should have fallen, but the butter had been spread on the wrong side.’

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